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Canada’s Flagship Domain

The success and longevity of the .CA domain can be summed up in three words: commitment, value and trust

Like many Internet success stories, this one starts small, and in this case also local. Back in 1987, co-founder John Demco—then the manager of computing facilities for the UBC computer science department—conceived the .CA domain extension. Once approved and officially allocated to him, Demco began registering, managing and assigning .CA domain names, with the assistance of a volunteer committee.

By the year 2000, through Demco’s hard work and commitment, an incredible 100,000 domain names had been registered, and the management of the .CA domain began transitioning to the newly formed Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA). Also that year, John Demco, along with three partners, Cybele Negris, Stephen Smith and Matthew Lane, co-founded, a company spun off from the original .CA registry. “In the very early days of the .CA domain, it wasn’t apparent that it would be adopted so quickly,” says Demco. “However, with the introduction of the web and commercialization, things really took off for the .CA domain.” 

Nearly 28 years later the .CA domain continues to be a uniquely Canadian online presence. Demco said he knew that someone had to take responsibility for the domain’s management on behalf of all Canadians. “It was something I really thought was important and worthwhile,” says Demco in a 2001 interview with the Vancouver Sun. As former CIRA president and CEO Bernard Turcotte notes, “John’s efforts laid the foundation for .CA domain names and he has been a constant throughout its evolution.”

To date, more than 2.3 million .CA domain names have been registered, and according to the 2014 CIRA Factbook, Canadians continue to trust .CA over .COM for business, with 85 per cent of Canadians surveyed stating that the .CA domain is an important Canadian resource. “Having a .CA is like having a Canadian flag on your digital backpack,” says Byron Holland, president and CEO of CIRA. And with more than seven out of 10 Canadian Internet users wanting to support Canadian businesses, the .CA domain is an easy way for them to identify Canadian websites, and maybe even support the many homegrown businesses looking to make a name for themselves in the digital world.
To celebrate both this year’s 15th anniversary of and the CA domain’s transition to CIRA, is giving away 1,500 free .CA domain names! Visit and use code dotCA15.